Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bad Blogger Award: SpywareGuide Blog

foot-in-mouth-award I hereby present this Bad Blogger Award to the SpywareGuide blog for their recent article on Twitter spammers, in which they stated that the bird graphics used by the spammers were an attempt to fool Twitter users into thinking they were somehow affiliated with Twitter in some official capacity, and suggesting that anyone using one of these bird graphics is a spammer and should be blocked.

I am not giving them this award for being dead wrong. I understand that everyone makes mistakes. I am giving them this award for refusing to acknowledge or correct misinformation, when they were given every opportunity to do so, after being informed of the mistake.

They published their article on September 17, 2009 and shortly after I left a comment informing them that the bird graphics these spammers are using are just the new default avatars for Twitter accounts, used when the account holder doesn't upload one of their own.

twitter birds

These colorful bird images are the new official replacement for the old creepy looking "brownie face" images. Many people have them and not everyone with these avatars are spammers. Some are just new to Twitter and don't understand how it works yet, or they don't feel a need to upload an image. Some are just lazy and don't want to be bothered with changing anything and personalizing their profiles.

I have friends with these new bird avatars and I can attest to the fact that they are not spammers. They do not deserve to be blocked and treated as if they are. They have done nothing wrong.

And this Mashable article seems to suggest there is also a bug within the Twitter service that could cause people that have uploaded avatars to suddenly have them unexpectedly replaced with one of these new default bird avatars. Twitter is aware of the problem.

I had to jump through hoops to leave a comment, being forced to register, validate my email address, and then leave my comment, which was immediately placed in their moderation queue and still hasn't been posted. Nor have they corrected their article, as of this date.

For a security related site, I find this unacceptable and it does nothing to lend any credibility to their blog. I will not be returning to read another article, never mind commenting on one.

Enjoy your award!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Forget getting more Twitter followers, here's how to keep the ones you have

bird-blue How to annoy people on Twitter (or at least me).

Don’t do these things and you will be more likely to keep the followers you have and get more followers by being recommended by them.

1. Copy & paste quotes from famous people instead of letting your followers read what you have to say.

2. Send them an automatic DM with a link to your crappy site, a free gift, or some valuable secret info you want to sell for the low price of $49, as your very first communication with them.

3. Send them a DM thanking them for following you when you are the one that just followed them first.

4. RT every link posted by Robert Scoble ASAP. Since we are all following him already, it's not likely we saw it when he posted it 30 seconds ago, right?

5. Tweet links to pages that look like a bad ebay ad, selling some new method of getting millions of twitter followers overnight, how to get your site on the front page of Digg, how to get tons of traffic for your website, or how to make a fortune on Adsense.

6. Do searches and tweet people you are not even following, attempting to sell them a $100 mini flashlight, just because they mentioned a flashlight in one of their tweets.

7. DM people unsolicited links to photos of your hairy scary ass or other equally ugly body parts that you really should keep covered.

8. TWEET IN ALL CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111

9. Tweet the same message 10 times in a row.

10. Make sure at least 1 tweet per hour contains the words "FREE LAPTOP".

11. Tell every Windows user to "just get a Mac"

12. At least 50% of your tweets should be about how great your iPhone is.

13. Have your ENTIRE lifestream feed into twitter from friendfeed, then go on a huge "like" spree with every LOLcat posted there in the last 6 months.

14. Follow and unfollow the same person repeatedly.

15. Publicly welcome every new follower you get.

16. #Make #every #word #in #your #tweets #into #hashtags #and #toss #in #a #few #extra #popular #but #irrelevant #ones #just #for #the #hell #of #it. #Don't #forget #to #finish #by #making #one #up #that #is #complete #nonsense. #ljhgliu

17. Use URL shortening services to make links that point to links already shortened by other shorteners.

18. Beg for retweets.

19. Post many tweets in a row for #followfriday with just a bunch of names and no explanation of why anyone should follow them. Every childless person on twitter should follow that stay-at-home mom that tweets diaper changing and toilet training tips, right?

20. Use a service that auto-tweets spammy paid ads from your account.